London Seminary celebrates 40 years of training men for pastoral ministry this year. Established under the leadership of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and others in 1977, London Theological Seminary (as it then was) had one aim: to prepare men called by God to preach the gospel and pastor Christ’s people.
As its constitution puts it, the seminary was to teach the ‘great truths recovered at the Reformation’. Outgoing principal Robert Strivens said, ‘In this 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, we give thanks to God for the joy and privilege of teaching those same truths, rooted in Scripture, to future preachers and pastors today.
‘Over the years, the seminary has trained hundreds of men for ministry and they have come from all parts of the world. Though immigration restrictions mean we have fewer from overseas than we used to have, we are still privileged to have men among the students today from South America, Africa and continental Europe’.
One of the students, Chris Durrant, has been studying the London Seminary course for three years. He is married to Serena and has two young boys. He said, ‘I was working as a full-time church worker for Hailsham Free Church in East Sussex, when I felt it was right to engage in further formal training for the ministry. I had already completed the Proclamation Trust Cornhill Training Scheme, which provided an excellent foundation with a focus on expositional preaching.
‘But it became clear to me that I needed a broader and more in-depth foundation if I was going to pastor a church. London Seminary offered just such training, with the biblical languages, church history and systematic theology as core subjects’.
Mr Durrant is to become pastor of an FIEC church in Bournemouth in September.